When implementing a new training program, it is important to understand that learners will have varying levels of knowledge and will require different timeframes for learning content. Research shows that training based on each individual’s role in an organisation is more effective than training based on knowledge content. Designers can meet these requirements through the adoption of competency-based training.
Organisations should recognise the value of competency-based training and make it a resolution to improve training programs to match these requirements.
Competency: a definition
Competency-based training refers to instructional design in which content is delivered in such a way that is aligned with the role and responsibilities of an individual’s professional role.
For example, organisations can utilise competency-based training to deliver pertinent information for environmental, health and safety training. Since there is such a large amount of content regarding WHS and OHS, competency-based training delivers content that is specific to each individual’s role and allows learners to work through the content that is necessary for them. If the learner is already knowledgeable in an objective, they will have the ability to test that knowledge and move onto new information; this saves time and creates a more efficient workplace.
When implemented effectively, competency-based training improves skills, quality of tasks and reduces time and cost to complete training.
Developing a better training program in the workplace should be a resolution for all organisations in 2018. To achieve an effective training program, designers should refer to the following:
Think about the hare and the tortoise
Some training programs make the mistake of measuring the effectiveness of learning on the amount of time it takes to complete content. This has created a need to meet time requirements by either overloading learners with content or cutting out information necessary for an individual to succeed in their job role.
Focusing instead on the quality of learning achieved in the course through performance reviews and real-world application will ensure a more effective program. Each individual learns at their own pace and with their own learning capability. Designers should offer flexibility in training to allow learners to move through content and exercises in the order and pace that they desire.
Harness the power
Technology has altered the way we learn. Facilitators can offer personalisation and modification of training according to learners’ needs, while technology fulfils learning measurements required for competency-based programs.
Technology also offers a variety of educational tools, where learners can submit their assignments using programs such as Prezi and other applications, instead of the typical PowerPoint application. Creating external links and tutorials on different educational tools will help learners utilise new technologies for their learning experience and create a more interactive program.
Facilitators can also utilise social media platforms by creating course-specific pages, social learner groups and other applications. Harnessing the power of technology is beneficial to learning as it can re-create a real-world working environment with the use of a few of these productivity applications and technology.
From leader to mentor
Traditional training methods were designed for training pace and content to be at the hands of the trainer. Trainers would hold scheduled sessions for a set amount of time and move through the material at one set pace.
Today, competency-based training shifts this role of trainer to that of a mentor. Trainers become a guide who helps redirect conversations and tasks to transfer skills and knowledge according to the context of work roles. The trainer can be there to assist with questions and help nurture individual development, while also offering group assignments to create a more cohesive learning environment.
Align your competencies
Developing a program with key learning objectives helps define the performance metrics in an organisation. Managers should align these objectives and competencies directly to the organisation’s performance requirements in order to properly evaluate learning progress.
Globally, mobile usage for all tasks and activities is rapidly increasing, with no signs of slowing in 2018. With so many people opting for smaller screens, it is important to develop learning that is mobile-friendly.
Offering content that fits to a mobile screen is not enough; mobile learning design should be recognised as a major trend for the future of learning. Developers should create competency-based training with mobile usage in mind to help create an easier way to learn.
- Laskaris, J. (2015). 4 Ways to Implement a Competency Based Training Program. eFront. Retrieved from https://www.efrontlearning.com/blog/2015/10/4-ways-to-implement-a-competency-based-training-program.html
- Oesch, T. (2017). Competency-Based Safety Training. Training Industry. Retrieved from https://trainingindustry.com/articles/compliance/competency-based-safety-training/